October started with awful afternoon for Hinckley who turned in a performance as miserable as the inclement weather as they were comprehensively beaten 5-1 by a slick Hucknall Town side.
AFC had looked a much more secure defensive unit in the last couple of games, but there was little sign of that cohesiveness as the visitors pulled them apart and raced into a four goal lead by half time.
Craig Westcarr led the way with a hat trick and he got the scoring underway inside ten minutes, a magnificent finish as he lashed his shot into the top corner from the right hand edge of the area.
Hinckley briefly threatened to make a game of it as they enjoyed their best spell shortly afterwards. Drew Kear’s searching pass picked out the run of Jack Edwards but keeper Jake Pearson was alive to the situation as he raced from his line to block, and moments later Charlie Evans chose to pass in the box when a shot might have been the better option.
After that spell, Hucknall took control of the game with a three goal burst inside ten first half minutes. Westcarr added his second as he turned home Joe Butler’s low cross and just a couple of minutes later, Aaron Short thundered home the third after Grant Ryan’s knockdown.
AFC’s defensive woes were highlighted again ten minutes before the break. Joe Ashurst enjoyed the freedom of Heather as he ran clear from halfway and squared the ball to Westcarr. He was denied by a superb save from the exposed Matt Hill, but the rebound fell kindly for Ashurst to convert his side’s fourth goal.
Hinckley were left shell-shocked. They changed personnel and formation with a double substitution at the break in an attempt to stem the tide, but Westcarr completed his hat trick on the hour when he converted a penalty after being fouled by Jacob Sturgess.
It could have been worse. Hucknall were awarded a second penalty after a handball by Brandon Hallmark, but Ryan wasted the chance to score against his former club as he blazed his spot kick over the bar.
AFC did score a late consolation through Evans, but that couldn’t disguise a desperate day for the hosts.
Hinckley: Matt Hill, Drew Kear, Callum Martin, Jack Edwards, Brandon Hallmark, Jacob Sturgess, Jeremie Agholor (Ben Whitehead 45), Tom Weale (Lewis Padmore 67), Charlie Evans, Dan Hoskins, Kai Gibbs (Ryan Slinn 45). Subs not used: Joel Heeley, Nick Brandish.
Hucknall: Jake Pearson, Cayne Maxwell, Louis Kinnerley, Sam Sims (Aaron Lamb 70), Aaron Short, Lenford Jenkins, Joe Butler (Michael Bannister 74), Jordan Phillips, Craig Westcarr (Tom Hubbard 82), Joe Ashurst, Grant Ryan. Sub not used: Ollie Brown